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ESBC Reports Center Elementary Achieved LEED Silver

Designation earns town an additional 2% on MSBA reimbursement

The Tewksbury Elementary School Building Authority met on Thursday in the light-filled music room of the Center Elementary School to review progress on the project.

In attendance were Chair Anne Marie Stronach, member Shannon Demos, CES Principal Jay Harding, TPS Superintendent Brenda Theriault-Regan, Town Manager Richard Montuori, TPS Business Manager Dave Libby, Select Board representative Jayne Wellman, Planning Board rep Jonathan Ciampa and School Committee rep Rich Russo, as well as committee Clerk Maria Cutelis.

The CES project is officially in close-out phase, but there are some significant issues that contractors and the designer still need to address.

Peter Collins, project director from CBRE Heery, told the committee that the CES received from the U.S. Green Building Council a certification that the project achieved Silver in LEED for Schools, with 56 points. Silver is the second tier for LEED certification, above Certified but below Gold or Platinum. It demonstrates that the building saves energy, water and other resources. And, it earns the town an additional 2% sustainability reimbursement from the Mass. School Building Authority, bringing Tewksbury to a 58.77% rate.

When you visit the school, watch for a LEED Silver marker on the window.

The total project budget was $98,071,145 with the MSBA potentially picking up $32,736,619. The 140,000-square-foot school is designed to accommodate 790 students in grades two through four. The committee is in the final phase of budget reconciliation; it may take until April to complete the audit required to receive payment from the MSBA.

Montuori said that there will be an article at October Town Meeting to allocate any remaining money to reduce what Tewksbury needs to borrow for its share of the project.

There will be a 10-month walk-through in August. At that time, issues that will hopefully be resolved include:

Unexplained, irregularly timed beeping and scratching noises on the PA system resulting from a defective power supply pack and a bad microphone computer board.

Buckling and cracking of the gym and stage floors. A consultant recommended removing the wood filler, replacing some damaged boards and allowing the floor to expand and flatten out over time.

A crack in the entranceway terrazzo floor, which Regan called out as a showpiece feature of the school. Given the prominence of the floor, the contractor is going to come back with suggestions on how to fix the issue without impacting the appearance.

“What would we do if money was not an object to make this look like it was supposed to?” asked Ciampa.

A malfunctioning LG HVAC system. The issue is the length of the pipe servicing this particular zone. The contractor has ordered 22 new controller boards, which will take four to six weeks to arrive from the manufacturer in China. Once the parts are in hand, the fix should take only a week.

The warranty on the HVAC system will be reset when the new boards are installed, and the other systems should not have a similar issue, according to Tony Serrano of Consigli Construction.

Desks and desk chairs have issues, with chair bolts needing to be secured with Loctite and desk feet creating rust spots on the floors. The designer is working on fixes.

A door needs to be installed on the third-floor staff bathroom. Serrano said a frame is already on order.

Wellman motioned to authorize Libby and Regan to sign off on proposed fixes, with input from the change order subcommittee, to expedite the work.

In public comments, abutter Katelyn Bugda-Gwilt asked for an update on crosswalks and planting of trees to replace those removed to accommodate construction.

All invoices were approved, and the next meeting was set for August 17 at 4 p.m. in the CES music room.

Lorna is a U.S. Army veteran and 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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